Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:
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“God gave them up” means simply that he left them to their own concoctions. For as an army commander if forced to retreat abandons his deserting soldiers to the enemy, he does not thereby actively push them into the enemy camp but passively withdraws his own protection over them. In the same way, God left those who were not ready to receive what comes from him but were the first to desert him, even though he had fully done his part. After all, he set before them, as a form of teaching, the world. He gave them reason and an understanding capable of perceiving what they needed to understand. Yet the people of that time did not use any of those things in order to obtain salvation, but rather they perverted what they had received into its opposite. What could God have done about this? Could he have forced them to do what was right? Yes, but that would not have made them virtuous. All he could do then was to leave them to their own devices, which is what he did, so that in that way, if in no other, having tried and discovered the things they lusted after, they might turn away from what was so shameful.